Through April 20, "SportsCenter" will put every NFL team "On The Clock." Scouts Inc. will break down each team and look at what questions still need answering.
One of the Browns' biggest concerns heading into the offseason was the offensive line. After a free-agency spending spree last season along the offensive line, the Browns had to address the unit again. The Browns re-signed Hank Fraley, whom they traded for last season after prized free-agent acquisition LeCharles Bentley went down early in training camp. They got a free-agent gem in Eric Steinbach, who is slated to start at left guard but could play left tackle in a pinch depending on what occurs on draft day. C/G Seth McKinney was also signed and will compete for the starting right guard spot. If he does not win that battle, he will make a nice backup because he can play all three interior spots. The team also added RB Jamal Lewis, who has been a "Browns killer" during his years in Baltimore. However, he has not been the same player the past two seasons. He will need to rediscover his groove if he is going to jump-start the Browns' lackluster run offense. The rest of the Browns' additions were on defense. Robaire Smith will start at one of the defensive end spots. Antwan Peek will compete at outside linebacker and play on special teams. Restricted free-agent pick-up Shaun Smith will provide depth at nose tackle. Cornerback Kenny Wright may start because of the lack of talent at the position, but he was exposed in Washington last season when he had to play more than a backup role.
The Browns' gains far outweighed their losses this offseason. They traded RB Reuben Droughns, who really struggled on and off the field last season. Lewis is a clear upgrade. The team lost Alvin McKinley, who started at end in the 3-4 defense but never really fit the scheme. It released FB Terrelle Smith, who was a solid offensive leader and good lead blocker. Dennis Northcutt, who left for Jacksonville, was not producing enough in the return game and never developed into a consistent No. 3 receiver. Injury-prone cornerback Daylon McCutcheon was also released. Overall, the Browns lost no significant parts that were not replaced in free agency or can't be addressed through the draft.
Who is the offensive leader of this team? The Browns obviously have some concerns about Frye. If they didn't, they would not have thrown their hat into ring for veteran QB Trent Green. Frye has some talent, but he does not have the ability to carry a team and the Browns do not have enough consistent playmakers around him. Even if the Browns draft Brady Quinn, he will need some time to develop as well. The team also needs to address the corner position. Leigh Bodden has a ton of talent but was banged up last season and the team can't rely on often-injured Gary Baxter or the inconsistent Wright. Left tackle has been and remains a big concern. If the team has a chance to draft Joe Thomas, he'll be the starter with Steinbach at left guard. The Browns have a ton of question marks right now. They need quality players regardless of the position they play.